The new ‘shortly’

Greetings from the other side of Hurricane Irene.

I won’t judge whether the exclamation points and all-cap warnings The Weather Channel threw around last weekend were warranted, because Irene certainly punctuated her path across Caribbean and American territory. Those who remain without electrical power have every right to use every symbol on the keyboard to express themselves.

At our house, we just disposed of the 40 pounds of ice we socked away for the occasion, and are all too grateful to not have needed it. In fact, we were gleefully fortunate to not have lost more than a few pesky tree limbs.

Would I seem terribly ungrateful if I griped a wee bit about the 40 hours we had no television or Internet? I thought so.

Then how about if I just shared some innocent observations I made during that 40-hour period?

  1. I am far more addicted to TV and Internet than I ever imagined.
  2. I’m not proud of this.
  3. The word “momentarily” is still widely misused. Hasn’t corporate America gotten it yet that it is not reassuring to hear that service will be restored momentarily? (I’d prefer it stay on a while.)
  4. The word “shortly” is subjective, but by no stretch does it mean 40 hours.
  5. Comcast customer service representatives are unprepared to answer the question, “How much longer will you use ‘shortly’?” Based on the awkward silence following my question, I kept my mouth shut about “momentarily.”
  6. When you call Comcast and press 2 to report an Internet outage, the recording suggests, if you do not care to continue to hold during this period of heavy call volume, that “you may also visit us on the Web at for assistance.” Now why didn’t I think of that?
  7. When, following your call to the help desk, Comcast calls you back with an automated customer service survey, and you press 4 to indicate your call pertained to a disruption of service, you are told that they do not recognize this response and the survey ends there.
  8. My days as a loyal Comcast customer are over. Unless I find a friendly and reliable competitor, I’ll hold my nose and go with that other big company.
  9. The new Comcast—XFINITY—needs a new jingle. It’s not fun for me. Come on everyone, let’s dump XFINITY.
  10. It’s time to get back to work; I’m backed up by about 40 hours.

How many Moments are in 40 hours?

Momentarily? I hope not.


Filed under All Things Wordish, Rants and Raves, Technology and Social Media

4 responses to “The new ‘shortly’

  1. William Greene

    Remember “land lines”? If you buy Verizon ‘triple play’, you get phone service backed up by a 40minute battery. When you take their service, INSIST you keep your “land line” connection: hard wired to the telephone pole and supplying its own power. They won’t like you, but maintaining that analog service will assure you communication during these emergencies, unless the telephone line is felled by that HUGE tree in your backyard. : )

  2. Polly

    HA! #6 and 7 cracked me up. When you write your letter to Comcast ending your service it just might end up one that floats around the internet for years to come — popping in and out of inboxes with a chuckle each time.

  3. While not having to face the rigors of storm, or power outage (lately), I do, on a regular basis, have to deal with Comcast “Xfinity”. This much faster Internet continues to be really fast, as long as you don’t use it too much. Download too much content, and they slap a governor on your account and slow you down to Ex-Finity.

    By the hoo. I’m right there with you on momentarily. That along with “begs the question” are the two popular phrases I hear which are… well, just about never used correctly. I fear that what we’re seeing, though, is a natural evolution of our language. If enough people use (or rather misuse) phrases like this… long enough, they will become de rigor. It’s a function of our language I both love and hate. I mean, come on! How can I be a language cop if the target keeps moving?

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